Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Waters College of Health Professions


DPT Students Present Research at St. Joseph’s/Candler Movement Disorder Forum

DPT students presenting research at St. Joseph's/Candler Movement Disorder Forum

Pictured Left to Right: Maria Sapp, Stephanie Miller, Jessica Prince and Spencer Calhoun

Doctor of Physical Therapy students Spencer Calhoun, Stephanie Miller, Jessica Prince and Maria Sapp, under the guidance of Kathleen Schaefer, DPT, assistant professor in the Waters College of Health Professions, presented their research titled, Fall Risk in the Essential Tremor Population, to 156 individuals at the St. Joseph’s/Candler Movement Disorder Forum held on Friday, March 29, 2019. The forum is an annual event that provides an overview of the latest advancements in movement disorders for diagnosis, treatment and outreach options for patients with common movement disorders. Topics of the forum included, but were not limited to, deep brain simulation, exercise as an intervention, and a question and answer session with local neurologist, Jill Trumble, MD. Attendees included those with neurological diagnoses, their caregivers and their friends. Approximately 15 individuals in the audience had also participated in the research study.

Savannah Speech and Hearing Center Names Georgia Southern Student Volunteer of the Year

Caroline Steed has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Annie F. Oliver Award for Volunteer of the Year. This award, given annually by the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence and a strong commitment to volunteering for the betterment of the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center community.

Steed, from Savannah, Georgia, graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences from Armstrong State University, now known as Georgia Southern University. Upon graduation, Steed returned to Georgia Southern to obtain a post-baccalaureate certificate in communication sciences and disorders on Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus.

“I was extremely honored to receive this award,” stated Steed. “Volunteering for this organization has truly been a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with the diverse population that Savannah Speech and Hearing Center serves.”

Steed has been volunteering with the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center since January 2018 and has clocked over 188 hours of volunteer experience working in a variety of areas including hearing screenings at local schools, the Stroke Group, Sound Start and fundraising events.

“I have had the chance to learn from some of the most skilled, caring and compassionate people I have ever had the pleasure of coming into contact with. Volunteering and giving back to the community I was born and raised in has given me an incomparable sense of worth.”

Steed was honored at a volunteer reception held in February. After graduation in May, Steed plans to continue her education and obtain a master’s degree in communication sciences and pursue a career in speech-language pathology.

Bringman Selected as Chancellor’s Learning Scholar

Rehabilitation Sciences Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor David Bringman, PT, DPT, was one of three faculty selected from Georgia Southern University to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Chancellor’s Learning Scholars program initiated by the University System of Georgia (USG).

As a Chancellor’s Learning Scholar (CLS), Bringman will lead a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) this spring where ideas regarding teaching and learning will be shared. The two-year program aims to provide additional faculty development opportunities across the state.

In addition to participating in the program, Bringman will receive a USG Certificate of Teaching Excellence and other recognition. To be considered for the program, faculty had to submit an application of interest and demonstrate an expertise and passion for working with colleagues to enrich courses and deepen student learning.

Physical Therapy Students Attend National Student Conclave

Pictured Top Row Left to Right: Stephanie Daniel, Hannah Lawson, Paige Patrick, James Rowe, Stephanie Miller, Sydney Askew, Jessica Prince
Bottom Row Left to Right: Rachael Lacey, Hayley Abell, Katie Jones, Spencer Calhoun, Dixie Edalgo, Erin Moore

Thirteen second-year students in Georgia Southern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program traveled to Providence, RI to attend the National Student Conclave (NSC) through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

NSC is a conference held specifically for students in DPT and physical therapy assistant programs. The conference is designed to prepare students for their future career in the field of physical therapy.

During the three-day event, students had the opportunity to attend four educational sessions on self-selected topics ranging from Traveling PT 101, Cancer Rehabilitation and Pediatric Boot Camp, to Residency Education After Graduation and network with peers, professionals, and APTA leadings.

“The conference was a wonderful opportunity to learn from leaders in our field, network with many leading corporations in the realm of physical therapy, and increase my motivation for the profession,” recalled James Rowe.

While at the conference, Georgia Southern students celebrated PT Day of Service by participating in the Build a Hand Event, which is a community service project where students helped to assemble prosthetic hands for individuals around the world. The event was a favorite for many attendees including Stephanie Miller. “A hand is something we take for granted until we no longer have one. I had the privilege of helping build one along with my peers. It’s amazing to know how wide our career reaches!”

Stephanie Daniel noted how attending the conference has rejuvenated her passion for the field. “After being able to meet PT and PTA students from across the country and our professional counterparts, I feel eager to learn more about this field,” stated Daniel.

DPT Students Perform Fall Risk Assessments in the Community

Front Row, L to R: Mary Carpenter, Sara Baker, Riddhi Patel, Averi Donaldson
Back Row, L to R: Kelsey Pack, Ashley Chafin, Ryan Sullivan, Claire Greer,
Molly West, Philemon Miller

Each year, approximately one in four older adults fall. In recognition of National Fall Prevention Awareness Day (September 22 and the weeks surrounding it), a group of first- and second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students from Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus joined physical therapy students from all seven accredited physical therapy programs in Georgia along with clinicians throughout the state in performing fall risk assessments on older adults.

Georgia Southern DPT students performed assessments on residents at Savannah Commons, and those attending Windsor Forest and Crusader Golden Age Centers.

“We wanted to go to places that are close to the Armstrong Campus,” said Dixie Edalgo, second-year DPT student. The close proximity allowed for students to be able to conduct assessments in between classes and helped to foster a sense of community near the Armstrong Campus.

Screenings were, in part, to answer the call for increased involvement of state academic physical therapy programs in screening activities, and to answer a call from Anne Lorio, a faculty member at Georgia State University, who lost her father due to the consequences of a fall earlier this year.

Sixty one senior adults were screened over three days. Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria, 22 senior adults were found to be at high risk for falls and 31 were at moderate risk for falls. “Most of those found to be at high or moderate risk for falls were unaware that anything was wrong,” said second-year DPT student Delicia Bell. Individuals found to be at moderate and high risk for falls were advised to consult with their primary care provider.

Though most senior adults were appreciative of the efforts of Georgia Southern’s DPT students, it was the students who were grateful and learned a great deal from the senior adults. “I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself. I learned a lot from just talking with the senior adults. I was really surprised how at risk so many of them were,” said Philemon Miller, a first-year DPT student.

Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus 

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Dept # 4902
11935 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31419